The consumer credit bureau, Equifax, which suffered huge data breach in year 2017, agreed to settle with the Federal Trade Commission and The consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 50 other U.S states. The fine, which is at least %575 million up to $700 million, is also set to settle with consumer class action lawsuit. Almost 150 Americans were affected by the breach.
The Equifax paid $175 million to the lawsuits with District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and also suffered penalty $100 million to the consumer financial protection bureau. While announcing the agreement, the Financial Commission stated the credit firm has to pay $300 (which may increase up to $125 million based on total number of victims) million to the people who suffered by the breach.
Compensation to the victims
FTC’s statement allow victim to request the following form Equifax:
- Up to 10 years of free credit, for miners, this will be 18 years of free credit
- Free credit monitoring or identity theft insurances for four years
- Seven years (at least) of free identity restoration services
- Six additional credit card report for seven years at last starting from 2020
- Refundable benefits in case of expanses for losses from unauthorized charges from accounts, credit monitoring costs and professional help from attorneys, notaries or accountants
Equifax failed to provide security and so now has fined for it
It was two month before the company detected the breach, the sensitive details that include social security and driver’s license number, birth names, and such being stolen. The company did not share this information to anyone either media or victim, as decided share a month later. It has now pay $20,000 per victim. Apart from the fine, the company has to overhaul security protocols and takes measures for the protection to prevent such incidents in future.
Here is the FTC chairman Joe Simon statement regarding the Equinox responsibility and responses:
“Equifax failed to take basic steps that may have prevented the breach that affected approximately 147 million consumers. This settlement requires that the company take steps to improve its data security going forward, and will ensure that consumers harmed by this breach can receive help protecting themselves from identity theft and fraud.”